The German Embassy Windhoek supports the production and Video recording of a dance piece by the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Trust (OYO) with 4.000 EURO (ca. 76.000 N$) through its cultural fund. The dance troupe is currently rehearsing for the recording of one of their pieces “The Moirai” for online broadcast. The aim of the piece is to encourage discussion around gender-based violence (GBV), to contribute to the dialogue as well as to share information about services available and encourage survivors to break free from the cycle of violence. The piece will be broadcast online at the end of the year.
Philippe Talavera, OYO’s director, said: “2020 has been a very challenging year for performers. Since March, we haven’t been able to have any live performances. The risk with extensive periods with no performance is for a company to loose its repertoire. We are therefore thankful to the German Embassy in Windhoek. Thanks to their support one of our key pieces, ‘The Moirai’, will be preserved. Also, since we can’t reach audiences on stage, this will allow us to share the piece with as many people as possible. Online screening allows for some exchange, as people can share, comment and argue. Addressing gender-based violence in the current environment is more than ever of vital importance. The restrictions imposed onto us are frustrating and unfortunately we observe an increase in the number of GBV cases. We therefore hope the piece will give some hope to many people affected by this scourge.”
When visiting the rehearsal, Chargée d’ Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy Ellen Gölz said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the cultural sector hard as live events in front of spectators are not possible. Supporting the arts during those times is an important aspect of the cultural foreign policy of the Federal Foreign Office. OYO’s ability to use art as an instrument to promote pressing social issues is admirable.”
The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Trust is a Namibian NGO aiming at using the Arts to create social awareness. In existence since 2001, it registered as a Welfare Organisation in December 2002 and a Trust in 2009. In 2008, OYO presented its first dance project, ‘the Namibian Odysseus’, at the National Theatre of Namibia. The project was a success and soon after OYO was requested to embark on more such projects, leading in 2009 to international tours (Germany as part of the p.art.ner Berlin-Windhoek initiative and UK on invitation by Sadler’s Wells as part of the ctrl.alt.shift project) and in 2010 to the creation of the OYO dance troupe.